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Accelerate fund utilisation for early commencement of UG courses in medical colleges, Centre tells states

The Union health ministry reviewed the progress of a centrally sponsored scheme to operationalise new medical colleges in 14 states. 

July 28, 2022 / 07:35 PM IST
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

The Union health ministry on July 28 told 14 states to accelerate the utilisation of central funds for the completion of new medical colleges for early commencement of undergraduate (UG) courses.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan reviewed the progress with health secretaries and medical education directors of 14 states and UTs through a video conference. The Centre has sanctioned 157 new medical colleges in three phases since 2014.

Bhushan urged the states to expedite the physical completion of projects to enable the commencement of UG courses by academic session 2023-24. "It was pointed out that since the scheme will conclude on March 31, 2024, all projects need to be completed in time,” the health ministry said in a statement.

The states and union territories that participated in the review meeting were Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand, J&K, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha and Punjab.

The states were told that a sum of Rs 7,500 crore has been allotted for the schemes for financial year 2022-23.

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“However, due to the slow pace of expenditure of the states/UTs and since there has been no requisition for release of funds from the states, further release of funds by the Centre to states cannot take place,” the ministry said.

According to the Health Ministry, the states were informed that utilisation certificates have to be furnished urgently without delay to enable the Centre to release balance funds.

Meanwhile, the state government officials were also advised to regularly review the progress and urgently update the Union Ministry portal for monitoring the physical and financial progress.

The health secretary highlighted the benefits of newer technologies that enable quick completion, and high levels of energy conservation, as opposed to many of the conventional technologies being used in many of the projects.

“States were advised to ensure that the selected contractors have adequate expertise and experience, and the sub-contracting also follows these requirements,” the health ministry said.
Ayushman Kumar Covers health and pharma for MoneyControl.
first published: Jul 28, 2022 07:15 pm
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